OK so what is a Family Search Affiliate library? Probably all of you have went to a Family Search Center and ordered microfilm to be sent to the Family Search Center, then went back a while later and view the microfilm. Today Family Search has digitized all that microfilm and stopped sending microfilm to the Family Search Centers. Some of those digitized microfilms are restricted to being viewed at only at Salt Lake City, A Family Search Center or an Affiliate Library. Spokane has four Family Search Centers close by, but staffed by volunteers and varying hours, so having the public library with regular hours is better.
In 2018 Spokane passed a bond issue to remodel several libraries and build three new branch libraries. The Special Collections (genealogy is one of them) were put into storage till the remodeling at the Downtown Branch was completed, estimated at 2 years. We closed out our meetings and cut down our collection to only have local reference materials go to storage, a few books went to other libraries, but the biggest amount went to Salt Lake City for digitization. We contacted the head of the Spokane Public Library Special Collections about becoming a Family Search Affiliate library while they were remodeling hoping to have it all in place when the library remodeling was finished (actually they are still working on some of the finishing touches). He was able to get permission from the library to become an Affiliate library, but he knows nothing about genealogy, so he kept wandering around Family Search looking for how to become an Affiliate Library. Central Library opened July 11th with a ribbon cutting, and still not an Affiliate Library. The new historian in the Inland Northwest Special Collections room was now tasked with contacting Salt Lake City to check out what was needed to become an Affiliate Library, she filled out the application waited a few days and was accepted. Next question? Only have the Central Library be an Affiliate Library, or should all the branches also be an Affiliate Library? The Genealogy collection along with a lot of other inland northwest books are at the Central Library, but we are meeting at the Shadle Branch Library for our monthly meetings and the free parking. So I said at least Central and Shadle. The IT department came back saying it was easier to include ALL the branches as Affiliates, so all the open branches now have Family Search, Two branches are still being remodeled and are expected to be done by the New Year. It took the IT department longer to do the connection to Family Search than to do the paperwork and get permission to be a Family Search Affiliate.
Click here to learn how to be a Family Search Affiliate Library.
Note after volunteering at the Downtown library for more than 25 years, I still have trouble calling it the Central Library, but the remodeling was amazing, and the Inland Northwest Special Collections room is wonderful.